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Daily brief: Mideast gets first public cloud, Saudi Arabia gets active

Alibaba Cloud launch of a new data centre in Dubai; Saudi Arabia privatises sport clubs. Here are the top seven business stories you need to know about today.


Saudi Arabia to establish water and energy efficiency programme

In a bid to optimise its water and energy consumption, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced establishing a new programme for water and energy efficiency. It further highlights areas where the government is seeking to cut back on subsidies.


(Here are the new industries Saudi Arabia will be pushing in the future)

UAE issues innovation guide for companies

The UAE Ministry of Economy issued an innovation guide for companies operating in the UAE. The guide promotes a culture of innovation and increase awareness about the importance of research and development, for the business and for the entire economy. (More UAE innovation initiatives here)


 (Industry experts discusses combating “innovation shortage”)


OPEC talks make progress

OPEC experts made some progress on the first day of a two-day meeting aimed a detailing a plan to curb the production of oil, sources told Reuters on Monday.


 (3 ways a Trump win will make OPEC agreement work)

Saudi Arabia gets active

Saudi Arabia announced plans to privatise state-owned sport clubs, in order to further promote physical activity in a mostly-inactive society. The cabinet endorsed the privatisation of soccer clubs in the Saudi Professional League and gave directions to facilitate licensing and legal procedures for privately-owned entities.


BuzzFeed gets $200m investment

Online media company BuzzFeed announced Comcast Corp’s NBCUniversal had invested an additional $200 million in the company. The new investment gives the company a valuation of $1.7 billion.


 VAT to positively impact UAE, Abu Dhabi official says

A proposed fiver per cent value-added tax (VAT) set to be introduced in the UAE early 2018 would have a positive impact on the country’s economy, a senior Abu Dhabi official said on Monday.

“The proposed five per cent VAT will be applied to consumption and not on savings or investments. It will not have a significant impact on businesses and financial markets,” Rashid Al Blooshi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange, ADX, was quoted as saying on state news agency, WAM.


(Income tax: Will you leave GCC?)

Alibaba Cloud launches data centre in Dubai

Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, announced the launch of a new data centre in Dubai that will be operated by YVOLV, a joint venture between Alibaba Cloud and Meraas Holdings. This would be the first full-fledged public cloud in the region which is hosted at a local data centre.